Entrance to Melk Abbey.
Melk is a tiny lower Austrian town of about 5,000 people noted for one thing: its massive, baroque Benedictine abbey.
It’s huge, but houses only 33 monks, a church and a school.
Pretty colors. Wide staircases. Long corridors perfect for long, swishing robes.
Stunning ceiling frescoes. Yep, it’s an abbey.
Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photographs in its breathtaking ancient library, where the books go back so many hundreds of years it’s astonishing. This 11th century parchment book was on display elsewhere in the abbey.
But we COULD take photos in its church, which was so over-the-top gold that I’m certain artisans used up a 25-year supply. Words wouldn’t suffice. So, here:
See what I mean? The churches we saw in this part of Europe were …excessive….if anything can be excessively done for the glory of God. When I look at the craftsmanship and think about the era in which these churches were built and how hard it must have been to get supplies, not to mention construct edifices this complicated? It’s astonishing.
The Benedictine mantra is HORE or listen. Listen to the people around you, listen to your heart, just listen.
I loved it and I loved the words projected on the walls, which were a modern touch in an ancient abbey.
God is a concept that has stood the test of time.
It’s always moving to be in a place where God is clearly at the center of life, and I felt that here.
This was an amazing film and sculpture installation.
Here at the abbey, old and new coexist in a special way.
This crucifix is 800 years old.
No abbey is complete without some plump cherubs, and these were especially sweet.
It’s a beautiful site.
And so we left Melk, cruising down the Danube again.
This is the Wachau Valley.